Identifying Bioethics Learning Needs: A Survey of Canadian Emergency Medicine Residents
Authors: Pauls, Merril A.; Ackroyd-Stolarz, Stacy
Source: Academic Emergency Medicine, Volume 13, Number 6, June 2006 , pp. 645-652(8)
Abstract:: Objectives: Emergency medicine (EM) postgraduate training programs must prepare residents for the ethical challenges of clinical practice. Bioethics curricula have been developed for EM residents, but they are based on expert opinion rather than resident learning needs. Educational interventions based on identified learning needs are more effective at changing practice than interventions that are not. The goal of this study was to identify the bioethics learning needs of Canadian EM residents. Methods: A survey-based needs assessment of Canadian EM residents was performed between July 2000 and June 2001. Residents were asked to identify their learning needs by rating bioethics topics and by relating their clinical experiences. Physicians and nurses who work with residents were surveyed in a similar manner and also asked to identify the residents' bioethics learning needs. Results: A total of 129 EM residents (77% of eligible residents), 94 physicians, and 87 nurses responded. Residents, physicians, and nurses all identified issues in end-of-life care as the greatest bioethics learning needs of the residents. Other areas identified as learning needs included negotiating consent, capacity assessment, truth telling, and breaking bad news. A learning need identified by nurses, but not residents, was the manner in which residents interact with patients and colleagues. Conclusions: This needs assessment provides valuable information about the ethical challenges EM residents encounter and the ethical issues they believe they have not been prepared to face. This information should be used to direct and shape ethics education interventions for EM residents.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2006-06-01